Stuffed mushroom starter

4 chestnut mushrooms                                   fullsizeoutput_b93.jpeg

3 tbsp breadcrumbs

1 tbsp finely chopped onion

1 tsp finely chopped garlic

1 tsp dried sage

Olive oil

Parmesan cheese, finely grated
Preheat oven to 200 degree C.

Remove mushroom stalks and finely chop them.

Fry onion and garlic in olive oil till soft. *

Add mushroom stalks and fry gently.

Remove from heat, add breadcrumbs and sage.

Top each stuffed mushroom with Parmesan, according to your taste.

Place on baking tray and cook for 10-15 minutes.

Serve with a side salad.

*Finely chopped lardons of bacon can be added to the onion and garlic, if desired.

Pesto Pasta Salad

500g fusilli pasta                                         pesto pasta salad

For the pesto:

1-1/2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup fresh, finely grated Parmesan cheese

3 tbsp red- or white-wine vinegar

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tsp finely chopped garlic

1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest

pinch salt

freshly ground black pepper

Salad ingredients:

Choose things like chopped cherry tomatoes, spinach leaves, feta, black olives, pine nuts.

  1. Cook the pasta according to instructions, drain and allow to cool.
  2. Put the pesto ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. When the pasta is cool, add your choice of salad ingredients.
  4. Pour pesto over the salad and toss the salad well.

Raspberry and Spinach Salad

Almond topping:rasp and spin salad

1/2 cup flaked almonds

1/4 cup sugar

2 tsp water

Combine ingredients in frying pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar melts to golden brown and coats almonds (about 5 minutes). Pour out on to greaseproof paper. Allow to cool, then break into small pieces and use to sprinkle over salad.


1 bag fresh spinach

2 cups fresh raspberries

Wash and dry spinach and place in large salad bowl with raspberries.


1/4 cup sugar

1-1/2 tbsp poppy seeds

1/4 tsp paprika

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup raspberry vinegar (or cider vinegar)

2 tsp onion, finely chopped

1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Combine ingredients and shake well to blend.

Pour dressing over salad (you don’t need all of it for one salad) and sprinkle with the caramelised almonds.




Mediterranean Chicken Casserole

Serves tuscan chicken

900g chicken fillets

2 cloves garlic

2 red chillies, finely chopped

2 dsp olive oil

2 red onions, sliced

900g ripe plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped (or 2 cans)

2 dsp red pesto

570ml chicken (or vegetable) stock

200g tinned chick peas

55g black olives

55g pine nuts

2 dsp sundried tomato paste

handful coriander

handful flat leaf parsley

1.Cut the chicken into long ribbon strips and place in a bowl with the garlic, chillies and half of the olive oil. Mix well and cover with cling film. Leave to marinate for at least one hour.

2. Place the other half of the olive oil in a large heavy-based pan and, when hot, add the chicken in batches if necessary. Cook until golden and crispy. Add the red onion and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes. Add tomatoes, pesto and stock and simer gently over a low heat for 45 minutes, keeping the lid on.

3. Add chick peas, pine nuts, olives and sundried tomato paste and heat through for a further 8-10 minutes.

This casserole is even better the next day! So you can complete steps 1 and 2 ahead of time (the day before you need it). Make sure you heat through completely and then add step 3 just before serving.

Garnish with coriander and parsley and serve with rice.

Yoghurt Loaf

Easy to make and easy to measure as you just use the yoghurt pot!

1 carton yoghurt (whichever flavour you prefer)IMG_4476

3 cartons self-raising flour

2 cartons sugar

1 carton vegetable oil

3 eggs, beaten lightly

Mix all the ingredients with a wooden spoon.

Pour into a greased 2lb loaf tin and cook at 190ºC for one hour.

Wheaten shortbread

An old recipe of my mother’s, this shortbread tastes healthy (even if it isn’t!).

8 oz/225g margarine IMG_4475.JPG

4 oz/113g sugar

8 oz/225g oats

4 oz/113g flour

2 oz/57g coconut

Cream margarine and sugar in a food processor/mixer.

Add rest of ingredients with a wooden spoon.

Using a cookie cutter, cut into shapes and place on greased baking tray.

Cook at 150ºC for half an hour.

Cut and come again cake

When you taste this, you will understand its name!IMG_4473

8 oz/225g self-raising flour

4 oz/113g margarine

4 oz /113g sugar

6 oz/170g dried fruit

2 oz /57g mixed peel

1 egg

Approximately 5 tbsp milk

Rub the margarine into the flour until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Add sugar, fruit, peel, egg and milk.

Put mixture in a greased 2lb loaf tin and bake for 1-1/4 hours at 180-190ºC.